Skip to main content

Parliamentary Elections and General Elections

People vote for all sorts of reasons.  Some vote as to who they want to be the local MP.  Others vote as to who they wish to see as the prime minister and there can be combinations in between.

The postal votes in Yardley which were cast about two weeks before polling day gave me 40%, but on the night I only got just over 25%.  This has happened previously.

I had been for some time of the view that the attempt at equidistance from Labour and Conservative was likely to be problematic.   Once we had gone into coalition with the Conservatives we would lose support from people who were unhappy with the government.  Hence if we go into the general election saying we might put Labour in we run the risk of losing support the other way.

My personal view is that we should have campaigned for the continuation of the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition.  That would at least have had some certainty about it.  People tend to vote against risk.  It would also have been easier to argue in that we were presenting a case that we did the right thing in 2010 and intended to continue doing something like this.

Politicians over think about politics.  The voters in the end have to make relatively simple choices.  Do they vote for one person or another.   The "air war" and the debates on the TV about strategy have had strong impacts on the campaign in many elections.  This was like 1992 where I also lost in Yardley with a swing against me in the last week or two.

Those people who concentrate on the national perspective will then vote against the national government in the way that they see as being most effective.

That, in itself, may not have been sufficient to re-elect me in Yardley as Labour would still have got about 17,000 votes (41% of the electorate).   However, it would meant the many people swinging between me and the Tories or UKIP could have voted for me understanding that I was an anti-Labour candidate.  Frankly  I am of the view that Labour's proposals were such nonsense that it would have been impossible to get competent government out of the Labour leadership.

Such an approach, however, would not have seen us losing in so many seats nationally.

The party did consider what had happened in previous coalitions.  Wrongly the assumption was made that as long as the party itself remained united there would not be a problem.  Historically with a substantial deposit required it was difficult to put up alternative candidates.  These days, however, (rightly so) it is much easier so although the party may not split itself it does split from its supporters.

Which is what happened.

I have had an interesting 10 years as MP for Yardley.  I hope that my constituents believe that I have performed the function to an adequate standard.

Whatever electoral system is used parties have difficulties swapping their coalition preferences for exactly the reasons I have given above.  Perhaps now that lesson will be learnt rather than the consequences ignored.

Comments

Gareth Hardy said…
Very sorry you lost your seat John, you have been a great campaigner and constituency MP.

I agree that the party campaign direction was counter productive - i dislike the Conservatives, but a controlled Tory government seems a slightly better option than an incompetent Labour one.

Please don't give up or lose heart, 2020 will soon be upon us and i am sure you will win again.

Gareth
www.garethhardy.org

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

LORD HEWART CJ:
It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…